Manchester Arena attack: Public inquiry to be held into deaths

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Manchester bombing victimsImage source, Various
Image caption,
Twenty-two people were killed in the attack on 22 May 2017

A public inquiry will be held to investigate the deaths of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena attack, the Home Office has said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said she made the decision after the "careful consideration of advice" from the coroner Sir John Saunders.

The inquest into the deaths was adjourned after Sir John said a public inquiry was necessary.

Twenty-two people were killed and hundreds were injured in the bombing.

Ms Patel said it was "vital that those who survived or lost loved ones in the Manchester Arena attack get the answers that they need and that we learn the lessons, whatever they may be".

"This process is an important step for those affected as they look to move on from the attack," she said.

The inquiry will be chaired by Sir John, a retired High Court judge who was nominated by the Lord Chief Justice to lead the investigation and inquest into the deaths.

Sir John previously said it was "a matter of vital public importance" that a "full, fair and fearless" investigation was held into the events of 22 May 2017.

He also ruled that evidence from MI5 and the police should be kept secret on national security grounds.

A public inquiry would allow evidence to be heard in closed sessions.

Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a device at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

His younger brother Hashem Abedi, 22, has been charged with murder and attempted murder after being extradited from Libya. He denies the charges against him.

The arrangements for the inquiry will now be decided by Sir John with support provided by the Home Office.